A fund that lets you choose your provider, the level of cover that suits you, and supports the medical community as a whole.
At Avant we recognise that your practice entity has separate risks and exposures.
support for both mental and physical health issues can be uniquely difficult
for doctors. Perceptions of lack of confidentiality, embarrassment, and fears
about the implications for career progression have all been identified as key
Despite these concerns the weight of evidence shows that
healthy, well balanced doctors practice more effectively
, are more likely to impart a healthy lifestyle to their
patients , are more empathetic ,
and are less likely to make mistakes .
when to seek help and where to find help when you need it is important
professional responsibility. Below are a range of support options available to
doctors across Australia.
The barriers outlined above often
lead doctors down a path of self-treatment and self-medication which is
increasingly regarded as not only damaging but also unethical.
Senior Medical Advisor Professor Greg Whelan advises that seeking objective
external help is essential to pick up on subtle cues, particularly when it
comes to mental health issues.
"It is preferable to seek support
externally than within your own institution, and from objective practitioners
who are used to treating other doctors," he says.
"We would recommend
doctors visit an independent doctors' health program. These are available in
each State and are independent of the Medical Board. They offer pretty
comprehensive services and are tailored to doctors' specific needs."
Avant's Personal Support Program (PSP) provides a range of support
options to Avant members who are suffering health issues. A central plank is
six sessions of confidential, external counselling provided by Benestar, a leading global provider of corporate psychology
The counselling service offers objective psychological
support and the provision of coping skills for a range of work-related issues
such as work stress, issues with patients, personal issues relating to
anxiety or depression, and legal issues around medico-legal complaints.
Options available include face to face counselling, phone support or video
counselling.Contact: 1300 360 364
Expert medico-legal advisors
provide medico-legal advice and support to Avant members. Available 24 hours
a day 7 days a week in emergencies, the service offers legal support
throughout a claims process, practical advice to minimise the chance of a
complaint or claim, and services to identify your exposure and prevent a
recurrence. Contact: 1800 128 268
Avant Medico-legal Advisory Service
Doctors' Health Advisory Services provide personal advice to medical practitioners and students facing difficulties, personal crisis and stress.
ACTDoctors' Health Advisory Service
24 hour phone assistanceHelpline and office: 02 9437 6552 dhas.org.au
NSWDoctors' Health Advisory Service24 hour phone assistance Helpline and office: 02 9437 6552dhas.org.au
Northern TerritoryDoctors' Health SA
24 hour phone assistance and clinical servicesHelpline: 08 8366 0250www.doctorshealthnt.com.au
QueenslandDoctors' Health Program24 hour phone assistance Helpline: 07 3833 4352 dhasq.org.au
South AustraliaDoctors' Health SA24 hour phone assistance and clinical servicesHelpline: 08 8366 0250www.doctorshealthsa.com.au
TasmaniaVictorian Doctors' Health ProgramHelpline: 03 9280 8712www.vdhp.org.au
Peer Support ServicePhone advice service 8am - 10pmPhone: 1300 853 338amavic.com.au
Victorian Doctors' Health Program
Clinical services with some phone support
Phone: 03 9280 8712www.vdhp.org.au
Western AustraliaDoctors' Health Advisory Service24 hour phone assistance
Helpline: 08 9321 3098 dhas.org.au
Doctors with Disabilities – Australia (DWDA) provides advocacy and peer support on matters associated with medical study and doctors practising with a disability.Dwda.org.au
Wellbeing support options for rural doctors:
Bush Support Line:1800 805 391, 24 hours per day: crana.org.au/support/about-bush-support-services
Support for Rural Specialists in Australia:02 9256 5419www.ruralspecialist.org.au
Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine:1800 223 226www.acrrm.org.au
Rural Doctors' Workforce Agency SA's Dr DOC program:A range of support services targeted at maintaining the wellbeing of rural doctors, including practice support, financial support, and access to a wide range of specialist networks, emergency retrieval teams and locum services:08 8234 8277 or 0417 082 411www.ruraldoc.com.au/services/support-for-doctors/health-and-wellbeing/
NSW Rural Doctors' Network:Support and outreach services for NSW's rural health workforce:02 4924 8000www.nswrdn.com.au
NSW Rural Medical Family Network:Support and assistance to rural medical families in NSW, and assistance to medical students interested in experiencing rural general practice.02 4924 8000www.rmfn.org.au
Rural Doctors' Association of Australia:02 6239 7730www.rdaa.com.au
National Rural Health Student's Network:02 8337 8100www.nrhsn.org.au
beyondblue1300 224 636www.beyondblue.org.au
Medical Benevolent Associations provide counselling, support and some financial assistance to doctors and their families during times of need.
Medical Benevolent Association – VIC - 03 9496 4309
Medical Benevolent Association - NSW - 02 9987 0504
Medical Benevolent Association - SA - 08 8267 4355
Medical Benevolent Association - QLD - 07-3872 2222
Medical CollegesYour medical college could be a good place to get help and support. Many of the professional colleges have support systems and resources available to offer support for the specialist college members. Contact your college for details.